Biometric database of Billions from India raises privacy concerns

New Delhi: The Parliament of India is now set to pass a legislation which will be giving a Federal Agencies access to the biggest biometric database of the World in the interest of national security, raising fears the privacy of a billion of people could be compromised. It is when the Ruling- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cracked down on the student protests and pushed the Hindu nationalist agenda in the State elections. Such steps, some say erode India’s traditions of tolerance and free speech. In the wake of such actions, the move is sought to be done.

For making more efficient the payment of the benefits and also for cutting down on massive wastage and fraud, the Aadhaar database scheme was started from seven years ago, and there are nearly a billion of people from India have registered their finger prints and iris signatures in the database.

The BJP Government, which has inherited this scheme, now is desirous to have a new law where the national security is sought to be protected. The law is sought to be passed by the BJP using loophole to bypass the opposition in the Parliament.

As stated by the Lawmaker from the eastern state of Odisha- Tathagata Satpathy that the Aadhar is being showcased as a tool for disbursement of the subsidies and it is yet to be realised to him that the same can also be used for mass surveillance.

As per his asked question, whether Government can ensure that the Aadhaar card and the data that will be collected under the Card will not be misused as has been done by the NSA in the United States.

However, in the defence of the legislation in the parliament, the Finance Minister- Arun Jaitley was found saying that the Aadhaar saved the Governmentas estimated 150 million rupees in the year 2014- 2015 financial year alone.

Further, the Finance ministry spokesman stated that the steps have been taken by the Government for ensuring that the privacy of the citizens would be respected and the authority for accessing data was exercised only in rare cases.

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